Alongside gaming and dating, another huge industry that is seeing major transformations through real-time communication is fitness and health. The whole fitness and wellness landscape is no longer reliant on in-person classrooms at a local studio or gym. Trainers and nutritionists are able to go global in their outreach and instruction, and people are able to access greater information and guidance than ever before through video and voice chat.
At AllThingsRTC, a panel of fitness and wellness experts discussed their companies’ various uses of RTC for personal training, mental health, and nutrition, among other topics. The panel was moderated by Haley Shapley, a writer and editor from Seattle, and attended by Shayna Schmidt, the co-founder and VP of operations at LiveKick, Lauren Foundos, the CEO of Forte, and D Sharma, the founder of Meditation.Live.
Is Fitness RTC Just Another Fad?
The fitness industry is quite rife with fads, from new exercise equipment to the latest diet craze. So is the technological shift of RTC just another fad that will surge in popularity and then fade away?
The panelists’ answer is a resounding no. Live, interactive video for fitness and health purposes is definitely here to stay. After all, people of all ages and lifestyles are seeking individualized, on-demand workout and nutrition advice. RTC empowers these goals and gives people the motivation to achieve greater fitness performance than ever before.
Live video is now streaming real classes to help people get engaged with a larger community of like-minded, health-focused individuals. It replaces the “manicured” look often seen in traditional workout videos, and also gives people a much larger amount of exercise varieties with new instructors and routines every day.
Live video does make for unique challenges, though, such as keeping the streaming quality intact. At Forte, trainers do get extensive training in how to work with the video format and handle the technical elements of the broadcast so customers and viewers aren’t left struggling with lag or stuttering feeds.
Mind Over Matter
D Sharma made the point that, no matter what industry one is in, mental and emotional burnout is a constant hazard—if not inevitable for most people. Meditation is a powerful solution for this, and it can enhance the physical health and fitness that most others are seeking in the first place.
Exercise and nutrition are facets of the overall self-care and wellness trend in today’s culture, combating chronic disease, stress, and mental/emotional maladies. Part of the big challenge with this is providing an interactive learning format via RTC, rather than trying to exactly mimic a meditation session where there’s a lot of silence and less engagement.
Establishing the Platform for Fitness Performance
Because of the importance of fitness and wellness in people’s lives, having steady access to their online training is critical, and so any aspiring health platforms must have the bandwidth to handle that growing demand of online users.
One way this is being addressed is when a company partners with a larger studio rather than just individual instructors, ensuring that the studio comes equipped with the reliable wifi and broadcasting gear that the trainer might not be able to afford or maintain on their own.
An Exciting New Frontier
RTC will continue to revolutionize how people access and get involved with their fitness and health communities, while also tackling the technical challenges these platforms present. One of the biggest ways it will continue to impact our world is in providing direct access to health and wellness activities to specialized demographics, including pregnant women and senior citizens who aren’t as mobile.
More trainers will also be able to harness greater earnings via online classrooms and instruction, since they will not have to worry about the logistics of space for larger student signups, or the extra cost of overhead that would normally be involved in a growing client base.
Watch the full panel video here: